What is the best size stretcher for my department?

With such a large variety of facility sizes, styles and departments out there globally, it’s important to get transport trolley sizing right for everyone. 

So then you might be asking yourself, well how do I know what the best size of stretcher is?

Well, the answer is… we don’t actually know! I know, shocking right but if you think about it the best size stretcher can only really be determined by its ability to perform its best in its working environment. What we do know, is stretchers and the benefits different sizes can provide if utilised correctly.

So, with that being said this article will hopefully suggest a possible good size option, should you feel like it's suitable for the type of facility that will be using it.

What is the standard size of a stretcher?

Usually, a patient transport stretcher is approximately 2150mm long x 850mm wide overall. This sizing allows the stretcher to move through common healthcare facility doorway sizes and fit into most personnel lifts. It also works well to support the average patient build and allows easy access for medical staff in critical situations or procedure work.

Older facilities however, may have standard sized doorways, narrow hallways, undersized personnel lifts and flooring issues. Small private clinics and medical centers may need to fit stretchers through very tight spaces. New and larger facilities may have high people flow and require stretchers to pass each other comfortably in hallways or fit into customized work zones. 

Narrow or wider sizing? 

A narrower patient trolley may be required for best access to the patient in certain surgical procedures or for best maneuverability in unusually tight workspaces, doorways and hallways. These can be found as small as a total 700mm overall width. 

A wider patient trolley can be up to 980mm overall and often used in new departments where adequate operating space has been designed. Obviously, as the size of a patient transport trolley is increased overall, the ability to maneuver it as effectively diminishes accordingly. Depending on the organisation type, sometimes just a couple of wider trolleys are included in the fleet to accommodate for patients of size when they arrive. In some regions where the prevailing race may typically be of a larger build, wider trolleys may be standardized to assist in providing the best level of comfort and care.

Sizing for Bariatric care? 

Some facilities specialise in the care of Bariatric patients. For this, purpose-built transport trolleys may increase to sizes up to 1100mm overall. At this size easy movement becomes much more of a challenge, requiring wide doorways, hallways and open space. As Bariatric products are built stronger with reinforced framework, the extra size and weight will benefit from a powered drive system to help reduce the number of staff required to move and maneuver the unit.

At the end of the day, the piece of equipment that is going to deliver the results you need can be customised to suit them down to the very last bolt. It’s important that no matter the manufacturer chosen, you should ensure that you are given the support and guidance you need.

Still have questions about stretchers?

If so, contact us directly or read some other related articles in the Modsel learning hub.


What would you like to know?